making fig pickin' gizmos

girlbug2(z9/10, Sunset zone 24)June 28, 2010

The fruit pickers at my local Home Despot are very unsuitable for picking figs--probably the person who invented them had larger, harder fruits in mind like apples. Using one of them on a fig would just tear it up if it was big enough for it to grab in the first place.

So for harvesting the higher up figs on your trees, what do you all use? (before anybody says ladder or cherry picker, no I am not keen to try a ladder and I do not have access to a cherry picker.)

If you could post a pic of your fig picking device I would greatly appreciate it!

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Suzi AKA DesertDance

Canvas around the trunk. When they are ripe, they will fall.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:42PM
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I keep my trees short enough to keep all the fruit within reach.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:51AM
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giants_2007(10 PSL FL Sal)

Try looking for a golf ball retriever I gave one to my uncle who said it worked well.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 7:55AM
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I would agree with thisisme. I never let my trees get over what a 6 foot ladder could reach. Once you shape them right ( I use a modified vase shape) picking is very easy. I even pruned back my apricots that way and this year was very easy to pick.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:22PM
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harvey12(z7 NC)

I have a couple of old fig trees that have very tall limbs, reaching the height of a second floor window. In spite of this I have never had a problem with harvesting figs from the topmost limbs. Fig limbs are remarkably flexible, and if you grab one and pull down, most will bend and enable you to reach the figs. Having said this, a six foot stepladder is a very useful and generally safe device. Figs require care in handling, and I doubt that you will find a picking device that will be able to pick figs without lots of damage. Trimming the plant is a better strategy overall.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 4:32PM
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I have a ~ 4'L wooden handle with a big hook on the end. It a home made thing that I pickes up at an estate sale. Looks like it was an old hoe or shovel handle. Works great to pull those tall flexible limbs down to pick. My own trees aren't that tall, but the one at my inlaws is huge(Celeste). Tim

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 7:18PM
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Sounds like a job for my dad--he loves making devices to fit a particular need. If he comes up with something I'll let you know.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 4:39PM
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I've made one with PVC pipe and have given up on it.....too finicky. However, I have since found a much better fig picker. It is sold by Arcoa and is called E-Z Reacher......see the link below.

This neat tool works extremely well for picking figs. I intend to supply these to my customers when I open up my 'U-Pick-It' fig orchard........still just a dream. This can also be used to pick those out of reach blackberries. It helped my grandson avoid the thorns while picking those this summer. Also, works great for my original intended pick up prickly pine cones.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fig Picker

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:07PM
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girlbug2(z9/10, Sunset zone 24)

Thanks Dan I will check it out.

And I am looking into Sal's suggestion as well. Hopefully there's a good solution here

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 10:51AM
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giants_2007(10 PSL FL Sal)

There are many different styles to these So with that being said it is best you visit a Walmart or sporting good store or golf shop to see if it would fit your needs. I searched the net but can not find the exact one I gave him. It was a dinosaur which I had for years and is probably no longer being made. I see some which look similar but it is hard to tell from a picture on a computer I'm sure you will have to modify a bit to fit your need( small or large figs compared to golf balls) maybe some rubber tape around wire to prevent bruising ect. ect.
Best of luck

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 11:19AM
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Mechanical monkeys?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 12:40PM
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Thank God, we have no real monkeys here in NJ...

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 3:14PM
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The advantage to the picker that I've shown above is that you can reach almost anywhere in a tree and pick the fruit. The two rubber suction cups on the end hold the fruit without damaging it......the tension between the suction cups is controlled by the amount of pressure that you place on the grip handle......that's why you can use it to pick blackberries too. I don't need a ladder when I use this tool. Similar tools are available at Target and Walmart for about $10. It is well worth the price.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 2:45PM
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